Senate District 29 includes Jackson and Dubuque counties and part of Jones County.
Name: Carrie Koelker
Occupation: Executive director, Eastern Iowa Tourism Association
Education: Iowa Lakes Community College
What are the three most important issues facing Iowans, and how would you address them?
• Training our workforce: Career opportunities require an educated workforce. I’m committed to a strong education system that works for all Iowans and helps students reach their full potential so we can produce career-ready graduates.
• Our economy: Strengthen our communities to provide a quality of life and family-supporting jobs.
• Reducing our taxes: I am committed to reducing our taxes so families can keep more of the money they earn and job creators can deliver new opportunities to Eastern Iowa.
Do you believe the state should increase the minimum wage? If yes, to what level?
My focus will be on creating an environment where job creators can create family-supporting jobs for Iowans. The Legislature’s focus should be on creating a pro-growth economic environment and equipping Iowans with the education and training they need to succeed in the careers of today and tomorrow.
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Would you vote to roll back the state income tax cuts passed last session? Would you expand them?
Iowa has some of the highest income tax rates in the country. Lowering income tax rates to encourage work and investment is a proven method to improve career opportunities for Iowans. I will work to continue to lower tax rates and continue the recent growth in Iowa’s economy.
Would you vote to end or phase out the property tax “backfill” for local governments?
I believe any changes made to the property tax backfill should be done gradually and allow local government the opportunity to make adjustments to limit the impact. Also, reductions in the backfill should only happen if revenue growth has exceeded the revenue for the local government at the time corporate property tax reform was implemented.
Would you vote to ban automated traffic cameras/enforcement devices? If no, would you favor bringing them under state regulation?
I would need to learn more about the details on this issue. Initially, I would support a ban.
Would you vote to expand Iowa’s current medical cannabis law? Legalize marijuana?
Providing medical cannabis to alleviate the pain of people suffering from serious and legitimate ailments is a reasonable approach to the issue. I do not support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes or loosening of the medical marijuana law to the point medical marijuana becomes de facto legalization.
Should Iowa amend the state Constitution to protect the right to bear arms beyond current language? Would you support a “constitutional carry” change to Iowa’s firearm permit system that would significantly expand gun rights?
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Including language in the Iowa Constitution to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens is something nearly every other state in the nation has in their constitution. If given the opportunity I would support allowing the people of Iowa the opportunity to vote on the issue.
Would you support giving counties local control to regulate livestock facilities? Would you favor a moratorium on new large CAFO construction?
Statewide regulations are appropriate to regulate animal feeding lots.
What are your thoughts on increasing funding for public education? Would you vote to extend 1-cent SAVE sales tax for school infrastructure until 2049?
I would support the extension of SAVE with some additional controls around how the money is spent to ensure taxpayers are not funding extravagant or unnecessary facilities. It is important for the Legislature to make sustainable and timely decisions to ensure school districts have the time to make good budget decisions and confidence that the promises the Legislature makes, the Legislature keeps.
Would you expand or repeal Iowa’s law barring doctors from performing an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected?
I am a pro-life candidate and I would support legislation to protect the life of the unborn.